Right now, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics hang in the balance. The global pandemic sweeping the world has meant that all large gatherings have for the time being been cancelled and with the future unknown, the host of this year’s Olympics have appealed for a postponement until 2021. While the exact date of the Olympics may currently be uncertain, there’s one thing that’s most definitely certain and unquestionable, and that’s the need for security at the Olympics.
The Olympics Security Strategy
Take a look at any previous Olympic Games and the sheer magnitude of organising security has been well publicised, time and again. During the London 2012 Olympics for example, the Royal Navy Flagship was actually dispatched in order to protect sailing events and surface-to-air missiles placed on residential flats in the city. Add to this the 24,000 strong security force and it’s easy to see the extent of the security needed. Japan, just like Britain once did, will be going to great lengths whether it takes place this year or next, in order to ensure their security strategy is flawless. The question is however, just what steps can they take in order to ensure this momentous occasion is safe? To find out more, we went to Total Guard, one of the UK’s leading security firms. Here were their three most important considerations.
There are without doubt an endless list of considerations when it comes to the Olympics however one of the most challenging areas from a security point of view is definitely managing access. On average there are 300,000 staff and around 12,000 athletes to contend with. That number is high enough without adding in the approximate figure of 180,000 spectators on top of that. Numerous factors have to be considered also such as giving personnel access to particular areas, at certain times of the day. They’ll also be considerations for general access and the subsequent control methods that go with that such as ticketing and badges which can leave huge margins for error through forged tickets or theft. Given such challenges, it’s crucial that sufficient security systems are in place and if they aren’t, the inability of the security strategy will show very quickly.
Ensuring Great Communication
Communication is key for many scenarios but for security it’s vital. This is especially the case when an incident occurs. There must be sufficient communication in order to support each area of response from incident assessment to management and even fallout. Information must be relayed to necessary parties during any incident and this becomes even more important at events such as the Olympics. One of the biggest factors that makes communication so important, especially for the upcoming games is that all games will be spread out across the whole of Japan throughout 42 different venues as well as multiple organisations from the security teams to the police and even military. Without effective communication, it’s all too easy for things to go wrong.
Collecting The Data
Surprisingly enough, tourists from outside the host country can drop during Olympic games. At London 2012, there were 150,000 less than the same month the previous year however numbers still increased due to ‘local tourism’. The challenge here however doesn’t necessarily come from the volume of people but the sheer concentration in such a small space. Surprisingly, one of the best ways to manage such large crowds is by analysing data from current security assets such as surveillance systems. By analysing data through such systems, event security teams can make accurate predictions in terms of changes and create better strategies based on the data analysed.